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The Biblical numbers: 12
12 is a very important ancient number both in Biblical symbolism and in our lives. This post will illuminate this, and will make the meaning of it more clear by giving how it relates to our life.
In ancient Greece, the pantheon, mentioned by Plato in Phaedrus consisted of 12 Gods: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Hermes and (Hestia or Dionysus).
Not only that, but they were also preceded by the Twelve Titans.
12 was already an important number, but Christ took it and put it to higher use.
Ishmael, the son of Abraham, had 12 sons. Jacob also had 12 sons, the twelve tribes of Israel. Besides this, Jacob also had one daughter. In the New Testament, these tribes were succeeded by the twelve apostles. Judas, one of them was ultimately replaced by Matthias.
The number twelve again appears on the breastplate of the priest. Four by three gemstones are put as ornament. Not only that, but there are, you guessed it, 12 minor prophets.
At 12:1 (not coincidentally), in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Holy Scriptures, contains a woman (referring to Israel, the Church or the Virgin) wearing 12 stars on her head (which can still be seen in the flag of the European Union).
In the book of the Revelation, 12 (tribes of Israel) and 12 (apostles) are the twelve elders which worship the lamb.
The New Jerusalem is also described with many references to the number twelve.
“It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed;
on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
Even the Tree of Life is mentioned in the Book of Revelation to have twelve kinds of fruit every month.
Not only that, but the period between Christmas and Epiphany also counts 12 days.
Jesus Christ himself, spoke when he was twelve years old at the temple. He also healed an illness (Matthew 9:20-22) of bleeding that had been going on for 12 years (probably signifying the “perfect” disease, in the worst way).
Twelve means perfection and Gods kingdom (and cosmic order). This is reflected in all of the previous examples, showing a kind of completeness.
Not only that, but the shape of a church should be a cross. A cross, in two dimensions has twelve sides.
Our day is similar to the 24 elders. Consisting of a day of 12 hours and a night of 12 hours (we even split the day in two halves).
Secondly, an hour consists of 60 minutes (5 times 12), similar to a minute. Not only that, but our year also consists of 12 months.
Very interestingly, the time for Jupiter, to turn once around the son is twelve years. Jupiter also being the main God of the Ancient Greek pantheon.
Force 12 on the Beaufort scale is the maximum amount of wind that can happen.
In this article I’ve tried to give you some keys to read the Bible. As time progressed, we have lost this important connection with the meaning of numbers.